Northern Ireland film and television studios
With its strong crew base, stunning locations, studio facilities and financial incentives, Northern Ireland is becoming one of the most sought-after filming locations for both film and television productions.
Since 2007, when the region pulled in its first high-profile US studio project from Tom Hanks’ production outfit (City of Ember), inward investment in the industry has shown significant growth.
Followed by another US studio, Universal Pictures, who brought feature film Your Highness to Northern Ireland, HBO arrived in 2009 to film a pilot of Game of Thrones, has subsequently returned to shoot 4 series and is currently filming Season 5 there.
Increased activity has helped spark fresh investment in infrastructure expansion, with two new sound stages being opened in 2012 in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. It is not inconceivable that further stages will be built, while 30 minutes away, the studio facility at The Linen Mill plans further renovation and development.
Titanic Studios, set on an 8 acre site five minutes' drive from central Belfast in the historically renowned Titanic Quarter, comprise the original Paint Hall studio and two new purpose-built sound stages, the Hurst and MacQuitty stages, which form the new extension.
The Paint Hall was used from July-October 2007 by Walden Media and Playtone Productions for the children’s fantasy sci-fi adventure film City of Ember and by Universal Pictures from July-November 2009 for the medieval comedy Your Highness. It was also home to seasons 1-4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones from 2010-13, while the fifth season is currently filming there.
Containing four 16,000ft² “cells” which are set out in a square and connected by an internal road and streets, each cell is 90ft tall and has one 3ft thick external “wall” that is actually a 75ft (23m) tall door. None of the cell ceilings is external and the building is “double-skinned” thereby reducing noise pollution.
The facility also offers a suite of offices, toilets, five dedicated workshops, a “green room” and has its own internal electrical substation which provides 110v, 240v and 3 phase power to the whole building.
The new Hurst and MacQuitty stages: The two large free-span spaces, with an eaves height of 43ft approximately, incorporate high performance acoustic fabric, high-level walkways and rigging gantries with power, lighting and internal environment options to suit the full spectrum of film production uses. The stages may be used as separate 21,000 sq ft entities, fully sound-proofed to allow filming in one stage while construction can continue in the other.
The new stages have their own dedicated support block housing offices, media and ancillary facilities.
The terms and conditions for the rental of Titanic Studios are negotiated on a production by production basis. Enquiries should be directed in the first instance to Moyra Lock, Head of Marketing – or phone + 44 28 90 232444.
THE LINEN MILL
Set on a 32 acre site and 30 minutes' drive from Belfast, The Linen Mill Studios enjoys a perfect setting in the Bann valley, Co. Down, where until only a few years ago the world's finest Irish linen was manufactured in centuries-old tradition and exported to every corner of the world.
Situated in a quiet, rural area, nowhere near flight paths, airports or traffic and only 16 miles to the foot of the Mourne Mountains, the Linen mill is a massive build-space, consisting of a number of “chambers” attached around a central 40,000 sq. ft. stage.
The studio offers a total of 77,000 sq ft of internal build-space/stage, including a preview theatre, green room, canteen, design studios and various stores. The exterior offers an outdoor floodable stage with green-screen option, two 3-acre back-lots, 5 acres of hard stand yards, parking for 250 cars with pastures and stables and half a mile of river frontage.
The facility has the advantage of 2 on-site electrical substations, which together provide 14,500 KVA, 110v, 240v and 3 phase power.
The terms and conditions for the rental of The Linen Mills Studios are negotiated on a production by production basis. Enquiries should be directed to Robert Wilson - or phone +44 8442 512201.
OTHER BUILD SPACE
Northern Ireland offers other ample build spaces, all within short driving distances from Belfast. These are often attractively priced and are totally blank canvases ready for use. Here are just a few suitable facilities which we have identified.
EDGEWATER RD, DARGAN
Located about 5 minutes’ drive from Belfast. BBC network drama The Fall used this space in 2012.
15,700 sq ft warehouse
- 21 ft eaves height
- Workshops, offices and stores in excess of 3,300 sq ft
- Six units with varying sq footage and eaves heights;
- Three units can interconnect to offer combined space of 54,000 sq ft
I.7,875 sq ft, plus offices, ceiling height 16’
II. 14,500 sq ft, ceiling height 28’
III. 2 x units of 20,000 sq ft, eaves height c. 20’, rising to ceiling height 33’
IV. 26,000 sq ft, ceiling height 18’
V. 50,000 sq ft, height 16’, plus offices
KBL MILL, BALLYCLARE
- 22,860 sq ft, eaves height just under 15’
- 13,350 sq ft, ridge height 33½ ‘
- 22,230 sq ft, eaves height just under 16’
- Over 6,000 sq ft of workshops and office space
- External yard of 14,400 sq ft
- 118,000 sq ft of freshwater dams
CENTRAL PARK, MALLUSK
- Located about 10 minutes’ drive from Belfast.
- Various spaces available from 6,660sq ft to 44,898sq ft.